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Vampire Blood Trilogy by Darren Shan
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Cirque du Freak - 5 out of 5
The Vampire's Assistant - 5 out of 5
Tunnels of Blood - 4 out of 5

I first read The Saga of Darren Shan when I was in high school and I'm so glad that it stands the test of time. These three novels make a wonderful start to the series, creating a truly unique setting and populating it with vibrant and utterly memorable characters. Darren makes a very likable and realistic protagonist and, through telling his story through his eyes, we discover how the vampire world functions at the same rate as him - discovering their strengths and weaknesses, their religious beliefs and how their society functions.

Although Tunnels of Blood is the weakest novel in this collection (as it loses the fantastic setting of the Cirque and instead adopts a slower pace), it is a necessary read as it begins to explain the rivalry between the vampires and the vampaneze which is important in later novels. It also gives Darren a lot of emotional development. Although this feels a little clunky and exposition heavy, it helps mold him into a stronger character.

My only real disappointment with these stories is the lack of a strong female protagonist. The only two girls of note were Annie (Darren's sister in the first novel) and Debbie (Darren's girlfriend in the third) and I did not think that either of them felt like real girls. Annie spoke far too maturely for her age and Debbie only existed as Darren's love interest and received no characterisation beyond this. It's a shame, because Shan writes teenage boys really well, but he certainly does not excel in writing for women.

All in all though, I was really impressed. This collection certainly made me want to read more and I can't wait to rediscover the second trilogy! ( )
  ArkhamReviews | Jul 10, 2014 |
El circo de los extranos / Cirque Du Freak: El Circo De Los Extranos & El Aprendiz De Vampiro & Tuneles De Sangre / Cirque Du Freak & the Vampire's Assistant & Tunnels of Blood (Spanish Edition) ( )
  Keyboon | Jan 7, 2014 |
The first three novels of the Darren Shan Saga. Interesting, different from many other vampire series I've read. Unlike other vampire/supernatural series this one is obviously geared towards boys.

The three stories are interesting, although the somewhat open endings and lack of explanation in the next novel is a bit annoying.

I found the style of storytelling annoying, although it does get better after the first novel. It makes the main character, Darren Shan, appear egoistical and self-centered. Although this is probably deliberate it is irritating. ( )
  Rumpeltje | Sep 22, 2013 |
Darren Shan books 01-03: 3 stars overall. ( )
  slayra | Sep 21, 2013 |
I was hooked into this book, I read it in class, at lunch any chance I got. It is one of a saga of 12 books, set around the live of Darren Shan. He becomes a vampire and meets a group circus people 'circa de freak' who befriend him. This book is 3 episodes rolled into one.
It is a good story, it has adventure, supernatural, friendships, romance, and problems to solve.
I would recommend this book to people who enjoy reading, it is along book as it is 3 stories in one. It is available in the Parnell Intermediate reading area of our school library. By Lewis Huysman, ( )
  Suesroom | Jun 12, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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This freakish show could never have gone public but for the efforts of my hard-working laboratory assistants: Biddy & Liam - 'The Gruesome Twosome', 'Diabolical' Domenica de Rosa, 'Growling' Gillie Russell, Emma 'The Exterminator' Schlesinger, and 'Lord of the Crimson Night' - Christopher Little.
Thanks are also due to my feasting companions: the Horrible Creatures of HarperCollins. And the ghoulish pupils of Askeaton Primary School (and others) who served as willing guinea pigs and braved nightmares to make this book as tight, dark and chilling as possible.
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I've always been fascinated by spiders.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is 3 books in one volume - comprising Cirque Du Freak, The Vampire's Assistant and Tunnels of Blood.

Do not combine with the single volume edition of The Vampire's Assistant.
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Book description
Darren Shan is just an ordinary schoolboy who loves to ride bikes and hang out with his three best friends. Then one day Darren and his friends stumble across an invitation to visit the Cirque Du Freak, a strange and mysterious freak show. Almost as if by destiny, Darren wins a ticket and what follows is his horrifying descent into the dark and bloody world of vampires.

This is Darren's story.

New movie edition features the first three books--Cirque Du Freak, The Vampire's Assistant, and Tunnels of Blood-- bound up in one volume!
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YA. Ordinary schoolboy strikes a deal with a creature of the night that will change his life forever. 11 yrs+.

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